Michael Fassbender

http://www.impawards.com/2017/alien_covenant_ver4.html

Alien: Covenant

One of the strongest franchises out there has been the ALIEN franchise, a lot of ups, a few downs, but for the most part a franchise that we have all loved. The future of the franchise had been up in the air for a while with a few different products in the works. After Prometheus which was met with mixed reviews, Neil Blomkamp was working on an “Alien 5” that would actually take place right after ALIENS, but then it happened. Ridley Scott made The Martian, and he was back in our good graces. Which lead to, Alien: Covenant.

Alien: Covenant stars Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and Demián Bichir, and follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant, headed for a remote planet in deep space to start up a new colony. After a random unexplained explosion wakes up the crew early they find a new planet closer with the same specs they are looking for. Deciding not to go back into hyper sleep they land on this new planet to check it out. While there, they meet David (Fassbender), the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. Soon the would be paradise turns dark and dangerous when a hostile life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.

The film definitely blends together Prometheus and Alien. However not always in the best of ways. But before I go Negative let’s look at a few positives. Most notably, as with most Ridley Scott films, this one is absolutely beautiful. The set pieces and cinematography are incredibly stunning. From the opening 20th Century Fox logo to the closing credits it is just breathtaking visuals. Something that Scott has always been amazing at. As well the Alien is creepy as all hell. Some of the beast work they have ever done on the Xenomorph.

The cast is pretty serviceable. For the most part they are the generic disposable characters you would expect to see in an Alien film. However, there are a few breakouts. Michael Fassbender, obviously. Fassbender reprises his role as David from Prometheus, as well as plays the updated model of David named Walter. He does an incredible job distinguishing the two androids, yet still giving them personality. There is a scene between the two that is probably the best scene in the film. Danny McBride is the other stand out. And I was worried going into this that he would actually take me out of the film. However, he does an incredible job here, and is actually one the best most fleshed out characters in the film.

Like I said the cast other than those two is pretty basic and just serviceable. I would have liked a lot more to the cast rather than looking at them and just knowing they would all be expendable. James Franco stood out more than rest of the cast, and he is barely in the film. No one is really given any kind of an arc; they attempt to make it feel like the characters are growing, but the attempt falls flat.

The story itself is very slow. While film is in fact a true sequel to Prometheus, and a true prequel to Alien, it is also neither of them. While there is no real answers to a the questions left from Prometheus, there is also no clear set up to Alien, yet you still feel the like you are watch the sequel and prequel to both films. I assume because of the lackluster reception to Prometheus is why they went the route they did to move forward and make a true Alien film. However that leaves a lot of plot holes and questions. Also while it feels very much like an Alien film, there is a surprising lack of Alien in the film.

All in all Alien Covenant is an acceptable film. A little long and a little slow, with lack luster characters, but at the same time, some incredible visions, a few great performances, and a few amazingly intense scenes. Alien: Covenant prolyl ranks 3rd in my list of Alien Films, and I am giving it a Jeebus Score of 3.3. But what say you Jackass Nation? Have you seen Alien Covenant? What did you think? What is your favorite of the Alien franchise? Sound off in the comments below! And remember, It Is What It Is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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http://www.impawards.com/2016/xmen_apocalypse_ver4.html

X-Men Apocalypse

I grew up on the 90s X-Men the Animated Series. Regarded as one the greatest cartoons ever made. Maybe that’s just my opinion, but screw it; I’m choosing to believe everyone agrees with me. I’ve gone back to watch it, still love it. When the first film came out I was in the 8th grade. I spent the entire day at the theater. I saw it 3 times that day. X2, I saw a total of 5 times in the theater. These movies helped shape my childhood as they have for so many others. Weather it is a metaphor for race, or sexual orientation, or in my case just feeling like an outsider. They helped give you hope. The X-Men have always given me hope. So when I began to hear preliminary reviews of Apocalypse, I was worried. Luckily, there was no need to be.

X-Men Apocalypse follows the resurrection of En Sabah Nur. The film stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, and Olivia Munn. It is once again directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2, Days of Future Past). In the movie Apocalypse (Isaac) an ancient mutant has awaken in the 1980s. Ten years since the events in 70’s in Days of Future past. Magneto (Fassbender) is in hiding, and Xavier (McAvoy) is running his school. When this Ancient Mutant recruits 4 powerful mutants to join his cause, The X-Men must come together and stop him by any means.

First off this cast is awesome. There was some worry on my part that the new cast would not live up to the original cast. Especially with Sophie Turner who plays Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones as Jean Grey. Even in the trailers all I heard was Sansa, a character I hate, whining and crying like she does on the show. In film however Sansa was nowhere to be seen and Jean Grey near flawless! Tye Sheridan gives us the Cyclops we have all been waiting for. Not that James Marsden was not great, but this go around we finally get the character right! Olivia Munn while not having a lot to do was functional in the role and I look forward to seeing more of her. As well James McAvoy has dialed into this character so well, that he is synonymous with Professor X as much as Patrick Stewart is.

A few casting issues did bother me though. The most of being the casting of Kodi Smit-McPhee. While it’s not entirely his fault, the character just didn’t work for me. He had big shoes to fill, and I don’t think he, or almost anyone, would have been up for the task. Alan Cummings was so incredible in the role that it makes it hard to see anyone else. And this just did not work for me. As well J Law has got to go. While she is great in the role, and she does not phone it in like I had heard she did, she has become, in her own mind, too big for the role. Mystique is blue. The fact that J Law won’t portray her as so in more of the film really distracts you from it. But it’s not just her. Nicholas Hoult does the same thing. Too much Hoult, not enough Beast.

Another shining star however is Evan Peters again as Quicksilver. We get another epic Quicksilver “bullet time” scene, and they dialed it up a few notches this go around. He adds much needed comedic moments all throughout the film. It is great to see him taking a bigger role in the film. As well Fassbender is a shining star, as always. There is a scene in the woods early on with Magneto that is just incredible and so well acted.

Apocalypse himself is a little bit of positive, mixed with a little bit of negative. Oscar Isaac is great in the role. His look is incredible. This makes me learn not to trust a first look photo from Entertainment ever again. The only issue with his look is the size. He is not that large in stature and it hurts his menacing appearance. Even with a dark and brooding voice, his size kind of hurt the character. As well his motivations and reasoning’s sometimes get lost in the shuffle of the film. It’s not quite clear why all his Horsemen follow him, or why his plan to do what he is doing. As well his powers are a bit inconsistent. He has some incredible violent powers, which he chooses not to use as he fights the X-Men… Kind of hurt the psychology. But over all a well portrayed villain.

This paragraph might contain minor spoilers for the film if you have not seen all the trailers. So skip over it and go to the next one if you have not seen the film, and don’t wish to know these spoilers. You have been warned! As we see in the commercial Wolverine is in the film, and he is freaking awesome. If we even get 1/3 of the Wolverine we see here in Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the character it will be nothing short of epic. Of all we have seen, this is the greatest portrayal of Weapon X. Part of my bonus score goes to this scene, a matter a fact .4 of it does. The post credit scene has a lot to do with Wolverine as well, possibly hinting at the villains of his next film. I rate this post credit on a Marvel, Avengers, and Thanos like level of post credits. Remember when Thanos first showed up and half the population was like “Who is that?” That’s how I felt watching this, excited but confused! A perfect Post Credit scene!

Ok fear not, the spoilers are over. After you watch the movie feel free to come back and re read that, only minor spoilers. So all in all X-Men Apocalypse is a damn fun film. Not as great as First Class, X2, or Days of Future Past, but definitely in the top 5. One that I will be going back to see again soon. I gave it a score of 3.4 with a Jeebus bonus of .5 for a spoiler reason that won’t be said right here, and for the Quicksilver scene. A film you all need to go enjoy and have fun at. But what say you Jackass Nation? Have you seen it yet? What did you think? What is your favorite X-Men Film? Sound off in the comments below. And in the next few days be watching my podcast channel for a Jackass Reviews episode of X-Men Apocalypse that will be very spoiler heavy! But until next time, it is, what it is!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

to serve as the primary means of visual identification at the top of the article dedicated to the work in question.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs stars Ashton Kutcher as the title character, wait, no, that’s not right, that was 2013. Steve Jobs is the 2015 version of the film! While Kutcher did a phenomenal job (pun intended) portraying the mind behind Apple, he did not have the amazing team that this film has behind it. Steve Jobs stars Michael Fassbender, Magneto himself, as Steve Jobs, with Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak in a film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. Like I said, Kutcher didn’t have the team.

This film was plagued by all sorts of setbacks. Going into pre-production with David Fincher set to direct, and Christian Bale to play jobs, it hit its first set back with Fincher leaving. Then Bale decided to pass on the project. Boyle came in and wanted DiCaprio to star. Who eventually passed. Bale came back and accepted the role, then left the project months later. With Jessica Chastain, Ike Barinholtz, and Scarlett Johansson all vying for roles they all eventually dropped and passed. Sony then dropped the project all together and Universal picked it up with started negotiations with Natalie Portman to join the project. She then passed. Eventually its current cast was set and production was finally underway. I never thought the film was coming.

But now it is here, and by here I mean limited release here. It is only playing in I think 2 theaters here in Dallas. Last weekend it was just 4, 2 in New York and 2 in LA. So we have a little wider release this week, and then a full wide release will hit theaters October 23.

Question is, is did all the drama affect the movie? How is it? Well in going to tell you. Unlike its Kutcher counterpart that selected random event throughout Steve Jobs’ life, this film focuses on 3 events. 3 separate days. The days leading up to his 3 biggest announcements, and all the drama and planning that went on behind the scenes.

First off, yes, it is freaking amazing. At first I was bothered by Magneto playing Jobs. Because I did not see Jobs. I saw Fassbender. Almost with a little mixture of Robert Downey Jr. in there. I know, weird. But that’s all I could focus on. But as the film plays out, Fassbender begins to disappear. You get over it, and you can see Steve Jobs. In the performance. The character becomes too much to ignore and you forget about the actor, and you see a character. Not necessarily the person, but you see the character. And it is astonishing. This is another performance I would chalk up to the Best actor category. Not a winner, but a nominee.

Everyone else is incredible in their roles. Honestly, even though I knew it was Kate Winslet, She was immediately gone into the part. And Seth Rogen is little bit of his normal self, mixed in with a great performance. But the second nominee for this film is of course Jeff Daniels. Between the Martian and Steve Jobs that guy better take home the damn supporting actor statue. True story.

The way it is filmed is a work of art in and of itself. Danny Boyle perfectly adapts Sorkin’s script. Especially filming act 1 in 16 MM, Act 2 in 35 MM, and Act 3 in digital. As Jobs brings out the next evolution of technology, the film grows with you. It may sound like a gimmick, but it works in this instance perfectly. And Sorkin is at his best with this script. This is a walk and talk, dialog heavy film. And it flushes out every single character beautifully.

The only real negatives on the film would be the neatness that a few things get wrapped up. But in a film adaption that is going to happen. Especially with a project like this. But it still leaves the door open that maybe not everything is tied up perfectly, but perhaps settled for the time being.

Steve Jobs can become his own genre of film. While Jobs itself was not fantastic, it was entertaining for Kutchers performance. And now, this film is a remarkable top tier film. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 4.2. Go out; go see it next week when it goes wide. But what say you Jackass Nation? Are you an Apple User? Did you enjoy Jobs? Are you excited for this film? Sound off in the comments below, and remember, it is what it is.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

X-Men are back to the future!

The X-Men are back! This time they brought the whole gang. First Class, and the originals all in one film, together, as one unit. But more importantly, the King of the X-Men film is back! Bryan Sigler! In a summer filled with some pretty big blockbusters, including 3 other superhero films, X-Men Days of Future Past shines brightest thus far. In Singer’s triumphant return to this world, he brings along with him the veterans like Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, and Hugh Jackman, as they team up with youngins James McAvory, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. Days of Future Past is a refreshing take on the X-Men and sets the universe up for an even brighter future.

The film starts out in the future, setting up a grim world that has taken place after all previous X-Men films. The world has flushed out all mutants, and all those help mutants. Leaving only a few to fight the good fight for humanity and mutant kind alike. A plan is set to send Wolverine back in time to stop a specific event that sets the world on a path toward destruction. In the past Wolverine must deal with a broken Charles Xavier, as well as Magneto and all that he represents.

There are many pluses to this film. Most notably the return of Singer. He brings the X-Men films full circle, and ties everything together. He clears up the majority of loose ends. In a film that has well over 20 characters the fear of overcrowding is very plausible. However Singer divides time so perfectly. Sure a few minor mutants get very little screen time, and that can be disappointing, but the over all feel of the film is so much fun you forget that certain characters aren’t around as much. Another fear was that this would just be another story in the Wolverine saga. Whereas Wolverine is a key character, and arguably the most iconic character of the entire franchise, the film is almost more of Charles Xavier and Mystique’s film. As well as a film about hope.

I had a few minor problems, most of which are very nitpicky and probably spoilerific, so that said I won’t really go into them much here. Most of which were truly the plot holes that were left untouched, one of which being HOW DID PROFESSOR X COME BACK TO LIFE AFTER THE LAST STAND! Sorry, that really bothers me. Only other negative I will say, is for the average movie fan, you might be confused by the post credit scene. Remember that feeling after the Avengers post credit scene, and you were like “huh? Who’s that?” You will feel that again. As a comic book superhero nerd, I nerded out.

Over all when I look at X-Men Days of Future Past, I gave the film a Jeebus score of 5.3 with a bonus of .4 for all the superhero nerd east eggs this film gave me! Which I will talk about in a spoiler filled review in a few days! Overall, that’s a Jeebus score of 5.7, Multiple viewings required!